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iPad 2 review

Apple's new tablet is the best of its kind, but is it really good enough?

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1024 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 700 Kilopixel

View full specification

For

  • Fantastic design
  • Better ergonomics
  • Good battery life
  • iOS 4.3 brings improvements
  • Facetime chats
  • Smudge-resistant screen

Against

  • Where's the innovation?
  • No retina screen
  • Still no Flash
  • Negligable performance boost

Screen

By far the biggest and most notable difference between the iPad 2 and its new iPad replacement can be found when comparing the two devices' screens. Although far from a poor visual offering, the iPad 2 has been truly toppled by the Retina Display found on the third-generation tablet.

iPad 2 review

Although the new iPad's iPhone 4S-esque 2048 x 1536p resolution, 264 pixels per inch Retina Display is in a league of its own when it comes to tablet screens, the 1024 x 768p 132 PPI multi-touch offering that lines up on the iPad 2 is of a more than acceptable standard that has been overshadowed by the unparalleled image quality available through its replacement.

Vibrant and fluid when indulging in video playback, the iPad 2's 9.7-inch screen falls noticeably below the new iPad's Retina-busting abilities when it comes to reading text during web browsing and through apps such as iBooks, Notes and within the iTunes-enabled Newsstand.

iPad 2 review

Although comfortable on the eye and more than capable of living up to the standards laid out by the AMOLED offerings found on the iPad's closest Android competitors, text on the second-generation Apple tablet appears slightly pixelated when heavily zoomed in compared to the company's third-gen offering.

iPad 2 review

While the iPad's claimed fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating might seem a thing of myth when the tablet is smeared with grubby digit marks just minutes after being removed from the box, the tablet encourages the use of many fingers with a vast array of multi-touch features brilliantly detailing the extensive capabilities of the device's display.

iPad 2 review

Adding to the standard array of pinch-to-zoom and swivel to rotate multi-touch features, the iPad 2's display combined with the tablet's iOS 5.1 operating system sees users able to switch seamlessly through open applications in a multitasking manner through the use of a four finger sideways swipe motion, one handy multi-touch function from a hefty an extensive arsenal.

Camera

The first Apple tablet to be handed its own inbuilt imaging options, the Apple iPad 2 cameras are in reality a pitiful affair, arguably unnecessary and hardly worth their prime billing considering the improving quality of portable cameras that reside in the latest and greatest smartphones.

iPad 2 review

While Apple has updated the unspecified rear-mounted camera found on the iPad 2 for its third-generation tablet offering, those looking to plump for the cut priced aging device will be left severely disappointed by its imaging abilities with snaps appearing heavily pixilated, grainy and lacking in any discernible definition, crisp edges or colour management.

iPad 2 review
The rear-facing 0.7-megapixel camera is almost laughably bad

Click here to see the full resolution image

iPad 2 review
Most test images looked slightly blurry

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iPad 2 review
Snaps appear heavily pixilated, grainy and lack any discernible definition

Click here to see the full resolution image

Included for FaceTime video calling abilities, the tablet's second, forward-facing VGA snapper fares no better than its rear-mounted counterpart flattening out images and offering muted colours and grainy snaps despite playing host to 30 frames per second video recording abilities.

iPad 2 review

Despite capable of shooting 720p HD video content, the rear-mounted camera's video recording credentials are still a severe disappointment, with fast moving objects reduced to a blur and still images appearing to have been digital zoomed to further reduce the imaging quality.

Take a look at our sample video footage below and you will see the poor quality for yourself.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Processor ManufacturerApple
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Maximum Battery Run Time9 Hour
GPSYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyUMTS, HSUPA, HSDPA, EDGE
Product FamilyiPad 2
Cellular Network SupportedGSM
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformiOS
ColourBlack
Operating SystemiOS 4
Brand NameApple
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeA5
Screen Size24.6 cm (9.7")
Screen Resolution1024 x 768
Weight (Approximate)612.3 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Cellular Generation3G
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution700 Kilopixel
Height241.3 mm
Width185.7 mm
Depth8.6 mm
Screen ModeXGA
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product ModelMC774LL/A
Product NameiPad 2 Tablet Computer
Product LineiPad 2
Aspect Ratio4:3
Manufacturer Part NumberMC774LL/A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

Thinner, lighter and full of great ideas.
Once you pick up iPad 2, it'll be hard to put down. That's the idea behind the all-new design. It's 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter, so it feels even more comfortable in your hands. And it makes surfing the web, checking email, watching movies and reading books so natural, you might forget there's incredible technology under your fingers.